I have been reading through some of the patents here that cover a similar idea I have for a product. There are variations. If I design an item that is more practical and cost effective than another is it still under the same patent or do I have a prior art issue?

I guess an example would be that someone patented a hydraulic device to pull a stump. This patent was very large and needed to be pulled around on a tractor trailer. The devise I have designed is smaller and works by a ratcheting lever. Is this the same patent?

Is this an acceptable question for this forum?

  • Hi, AskPatents is an online service in Q&A format where users help find prior art on US Patent Applications and US Patents and ask questions about the US Patent process. Moving this to Ask Patents Meta as it is a question about which questions fall within the scope of Ask Patents. Please see faq for more information about which topics are on topic for AskPatents. Sorry for any confusion. Aug 2, 2013 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


To fit in our guidlines for an on-topic question you can re-word it slightly to be a question about how the US patent system works. For example "is a device that accomplishes the same end result as a previously known design and uses some common elements with past deigns (but does it in a different and improved manner) patentable?" " How would the patent office look at my device in comparing it with the most similar old solutions?"

I know that is not very different in substance from the original post but it is more clearly worded as a question about how the system works. N

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